Have Heart Disease? Start Making These Lifestyle Adjustments Today

Have Heart Disease? Start Making These Lifestyle Adjustments Today

More than 30 million American adults have heart disease. The term “heart disease” includes conditions that affect blood vessels, heart valves, heart rhythms, and your heart muscle itself.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease in the United States, but every type can have serious impacts on your health. In fact, nearly 660,000 people in the US die from heart disease every year, and it’s the leading cause of death in the country.

Receiving a heart disease diagnosis is serious. There’s no cure for it, and having heart disease increases your risk of complications like heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.

The good news? There’s still a lot you can do to improve your health, even after you’re diagnosed with heart disease. Kunal Patel, MD, and our team at NJ Cardiovascular Institute offer comprehensive heart disease care with our Heart Smart Program.

When you’re living with heart disease, your daily habits can make a big difference for your health. Here are the lifestyle changes to start making for better heart health.

Get regular exercise

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week. Regular exercise helps your heart get stronger. It can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and over time, it contributes to lower risk of heart disease complications.

Your workouts don’t have to be intense for you to get the heart-health benefits. Strive for at least 30 minutes of movement most days a week. Try a variety of activities, like walking, biking, or swimming, to see what you enjoy the most.

Eat a healthy diet 

Did you know the food you eat affects your heart health? It’s true! When you have heart disease, eating a heart-healthy diet can lower your risk of complications.

We recommend eating a diet that’s low fat and low sodium. That means eating mostly fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, like chicken and fish. Limit your consumption of red meats, and steer totally clear of processed foods that are high in trans fats.

Limit your alcohol intake or consider avoiding alcoholic beverages completely. Don’t start smoking, and if you do smoke, talk to our team about ways to quit.

Partner with your cardiology care team

Taking a proactive approach to your health care is important if you’re living with heart disease. Our Heart Smart Program combines diagnostic tests, routine screenings, checkups, and healthy lifestyle programs to help you manage your heart disease and lower your risk of complications.

We teach you how to eat a heart-healthy diet, and we offer exercise regimen planning. Through diet and exercise coordination, we can help you reach a healthy weight and maintain it.

You should know your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, and we help you take steps to keep them in healthy ranges. 

We also work with you to manage other chronic conditions that can increase your risk of heart disease, including:

Maintaining regular cardiology appointments is one of the best ways to ensure you’re enjoying your best possible health when you have heart disease. Dr. Patel and our team may prescribe medication and a range of other treatments, depending on the type of heart disease you have. 

Recently diagnosed with heart disease and not sure where to start? We’re here for you. Schedule your first appointment online or call the NJ Cardiovascular Institute location nearest you today.

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